Four teams will be in action on Saturday as Floriana take on Pembroke Athleta and Balzan face Mosta in the two matches from the BOV Premier League at the Hibernians Stadium, kick-off at 18:30 and 20:30 respectively.
With Giovanni Tedesco making his return as Floriana coach, the Greens strenghtened their squad with the signing of Justin Haber, Alex Cini, Amadou Samb, Maurizio Vella and Gustavo Franco Amadio. However since last season they lost Matteo Piciollo and Mauricio Villa, Matthew Calleja Cremona was released, Juninho Cabral was loaned to Senglea while Firas Aboulezz and Andrea Scozzese were not retained. After finishing fifth last season, Floriana will be aiming for at least a top four finish which could lead to a place in the UEFA Europa League next summer.
Pembroke Athleta, once again led by Winston Muscat, focussed more on the local market, securing the services of Adrian Borg, David Fenech, Clifford Gauci, Brandon Muscat, Luke Montebello and young goalkeeper Craig Abdilla. Matthew Calleja Cremona could also make his return to the club after being released by the Greens. Two new foreigners are Oleksandr Maksymov and Mateus Regis da Silva. Retaining Premier League status will be once again the main objective of Pembroke Athleta.
Balzan were one of the most active teams in the transfer market this summer, signing a number of foreign players, namely Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Anderson Francisco de Barros, Borce Manevski and more recently Abdelkarim Nafti and Alan da Silva Souza. Another addition should be that of Matteo Piciollo. Oliver Spiteri’s side were just one step away from securing a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League this summer following a win in Baku over Neftci. After another third-place finish, they hope to move a step further and lift their first major honour this season.
With Edmond Lufi as their new coach, assisted by Ivan Zammit, Mosta made a complete overhaul in their squad. They released their foreigners and a number of local players, including Omar Borg, Alex Cini, Tyrone Farrugia and James Brincat, moved elsewhere. They signed Manuel Bartolo, Kurt Magro and Emerson Vella along with foreigners Edin Murga, Gabriel Bezak, Martin Vlcek, Jaroslav Repa, Benjamin Chinedu, Tristan Grant, Dany Djoufack and former St. Andrews players Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Michel Salomon Wisdom, Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo and Lucky Victor Oseghale. Retaining Premier League status will be once again the main objective for the Blues.